Jacksonville doctor: ‘We cannot get to herd immunity without children being immunized’

Pfizer announces its COVID-19 vaccine protects younger teens

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pfizer said Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in children as young as 12.

The announcement comes before Florida opens up vaccinations next week to people age 16 and older, with 16- and 17-year-olds only able to get the two-shot Pfizer vaccine.

Pfizer reported that in a vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, preliminary data showed there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared to 18 among those given dummy shots.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in the coming weeks plan to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow emergency use of the shots starting at age 12.

At a pop-up vaccination clinic Wednesday at University Park Library in Jacksonville, the news from Pfizer was eliciting mixed feelings in parents.

Amber Mais, a mother of four, said she would consider letting her oldest get vaccinated.

“I trust what the doctors say. I believe that I would like my kids to have it if there aren’t any major side effects,” Mais said. “I give my kids regular vaccines, so I don’t know why this one would be any different.”

Katherine Pearson is less sure.

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